Phonemandave Presents Keystone Telephone Co. of Philadelphia

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NOTE: There were at least two Keystone telephone companies located in Pennsylvania between 1894 & 1945/46.

The earlier known as the Keystone Telephone Co (approx. 1894-1898) was located in Pittsburgh. Additionally, there is evidence of the Keystone Electric Telephone Company (approx. 1901-1905) operating from the same address as the Keystone Telephone Co. Telephones and telephone parts produced by various manufacturers with Keystone attributes were utilized by Keystone from the Pittsburgh era. Some related manufacturers most likely were Western Telephone Construction, Manhattan Electric Supply, American Electric, Northwestern Telephone Equipment Co. and Burns.

Keystone Telephone Company of Philadelphia conducted business beginning January 1902 until September 1945 and utilized telephones manufactured by American Electric with attributes specific to Keystone. These attributes seemed to vary depending on the production year. There is speculation that all the Keystone companies were in some way related.


Keystone #43 Philadelphia Type

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Larger View of Receiver

c.1902-1910 - This stick was supposedly produced specifically for Philadelphia service by Keystone. The transmitter cup is marked with the Keystone logo on the top and a serial number on the underside. From what I have found, it appears all Keystone telephones were produced by American Electric Company. This example is equipped with a rare American Electric pony receiver, used at the turn of the century on Keystone telephones. It appears in the 1900 catalog, therefore likely appropriate for this model during early production.....Besides, I like the look.

NOTE: Equipped with an American Electric glass mouthpiece often referred to as a "propeller mouthpiece." The adapter has threads that are tapered to fit various transmitters.


Keystone #43 Philadelphia Type (Another Variation)

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c. 1902-1910 - This is essentially the same stick as above with the option of black finish rather than the nickel plate. The option of the black finish was available only on the 2 conductor model.  The transmitter cup is marked with the Keystone logo and a serial number on the underside although the transmitter faceplate has no serial number and the shaft and base are painted black. This example is equipped with the early American Electric #25 receiver. Interestingly enough, catalog pictures display the model #43 with this receiver although many collectors display it with the later model having the Keystone logo. NOTE: American Electric porcelain mouthpiece.

Keystone Telephone Co. of Philadelphia Adjustable Telephone

Click picture for closeup Click picture for closeup
Click for larger view Click for larger view of Burns Backcup Click for detailed view of scissor arm

c.1903 - 1906 - This Burns Adjustable Telephone (or Burns Bracket Scissor Gate) for use on Flat or Roll Top Desks was offered in the Central Energy Telephone, American Electric Telephone Co. Bulletin No. 20. Although the bulletin is not dated, it appears from other documentation this phone was offered in 1903 - 1906, possibly as early as 1902.

According to the bulletin, the model with circuit #101 was produced specific for Keystone.

The model pictured here has KEYSTONE TELEPHONE CO PHILADELPHIA PAT APLD. FOR stamped into the transmitter backcup. On the scissor arm is stamped AMELEC.TEL.CO. MANFRS. CHICAGO PAT.APLD.FOR.

The "American Beauty" transmitter is unmarked and has no number tag.

Additionally, there are two different perches used on both the #43 Philadelphia Type (above) and this model. Equipped with an extremely rare American Electric #26 brass bottomed receiver.

NOTE: This Adjustable Phone, as well as the #26 and the #25 receivers are all displayed in the same American Electric Bulletin. (The #25 receiver is pictured on the manual phone below.)




Keystone Iron Box Telephone Sets

c prior to 1906 - 1910+ Displayed are three variations of the "Iron Box" telephone produced for special, hotel, factory and residential use. I am unsure when production of this style phone was introduced, but there is a date of 1906 stamped on the condenser tag inside. All styles are extremely rare and some of my collection favorites.

In the American Electric Central Energy Catalog, this phone is identified as the #55 Iron Box, produced for the Keystone Telephone Co. of Phila. In the 1910 Keystone Co of Phila Catalog it is described as the #4 Iron Box Telephone Set. To my knowledge these were exclusively Keystone Philadelphia.

Models produced prior to 1906 used the American Elec "old bell" style #5 OST receiver. Likely from 1906 thru 1910, all Keystone telephones were equipped with the AE "new bell" style #25 inside terminal receiver. The later receiver with the raised Keystone/Philadelphia logo on the cap would come later.

Keystone Iron Box Telephone Set #1

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This is likely the first model iron box manufactured. It is equipped with an American Beauty bevel edge transmitter including cup both mounted on the exterior. The Keystone logo and a serial #13568 are stamped into the outer cup edge.

On the right side of the box, there is a large Keystone shaped badge with the serial #10068 and Keystone logo as well as American Electric info. I consider this to be the earliest model due to the style mounting of Transmitter/cup and badge. The large badge was used early.


Keystone Iron Box Telephone Set #2

Iron Box Set #2 Receiver side of Iron Box #2 Additional button on Iron Box #2 Inside of Iron Box #2

What I refer to as the second model was likely produced between the other examples displayed. I have no documentation supporting this, just the style transmitter mount and attributes. It is updated to accommodate the transmitter, yet eliminating the need for the mount and back cup protruding from the front of the box. There is an additional button, maybe for cutout, on the right side.


Keystone Iron Box Telephone Set #3

The third style is offered in both the American Electric & Keystone catalogs where they are shown with the earlier American Beauty transmitter.

Interestingly, this one was found with the later style transmitter (post 1910ish) having the Keystone logo stamped on the lower portion of the face, likely an upgrade at some point. It appears the back of the transmitter compartment was adapted to accommodate the later transmitter.